Simple presentation skills to make you stand out, and feel more confident

9th June 2015

Love making presentations?

Thought not. Most people don’t.

So here are four simple techniques that boost two things – your chances of success, and your confidence.

And they’re easy to remember – the initial letters spell FLIP:

    First impressions

First Impressions

Your start sets the tone for everything.

Have a great first sentence, and your next ones will probably go well.

Have a bad one, and they probably won’t.

So, practise your start. A lot. A simple guide: spend 20% of your prep time on the first 2% of your presentation.

And don’t just practise it in your head. Say it out loud. Go to the venue/room beforehand and say it there… anything that ensures you’re good on the day.

Another important element of your first impression – your title. It’s hard to wow a room if your presentation’s called “Q2 update”. It’s much easier if it’s called “Three things our competitors can never do”.

Doing all this will take you only 10-15 minutes. That isn’t much input compared to the huge impact it will have on you/your audience.


Good links between slides give your presentation flow and pace.

But most presenters don’t consider how to link slides together. Instead, they use the next slide to prompt them what to talk about. But if you can see the slide, so can your audience. So doing this prompts them too. They know what you’re about to say.

So script how you’ll go from one slide to the next. Then say it before you click to bring it up.

Example: slide 8 discusses finances; slide 9, messages. So you’d say your link after slide 8’s content but while slide 8 was still showing:

"So, as you can see, the finances are strong. Let’s now see how we’ll achieve these numbers, through better messaging" [click to bring up slide 9].

Again, it doesn’t take long to script your links. So it’s minimal work for a great return.


Audiences prefer to be involved in some way – much better for them than just sitting, watching and listening for hours.

So, get them involved. Options include:

  • Ask them to write something down
  • Give them a quick exercise to do with their neighbour
  • Do a quick quiz
  • Show them a funny quote/image, so they’re ‘involved’ by laughing
  • Ask questions to the group

Some presenters don’t like the last one. So, if that sounds like you, don’t choose that one! But do choose a different one(s)…

… Anything that breaks the pattern of the audience sitting, watching and listening for hours.


Audiences like presenters who show passion. And they switch off from those who don’t. So find your passion. And make sure it comes out in your presentation.

You’ll feel passionate about one/more of:

  • your content
  • the AFTERs – why you/the audience/others will be better off AFTERwards
  • your job
  • your company

Passion’s always important. But especially early on, to get them engaged quickly.

Action Point

  1. Use FLIP next time you’re presenting. As long as each of FLIP’s there, you’ve a great chance of impressing
  2. Be an Early Bird. Thinking of going to my masterclass with Drayton Bird? If so, there’s an Early Bird Discount of £350 if you book before 30th June. Here’s what the day’s about, and how to secure your discount – click here.

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